Upper Air - November 2012



Note: University of Alabama in Huntsville scientists advise that the AMSU channel 5 on the AQUA satellite, which has heretofore been the anchor-source of data in the construction of low- and mid-tropospheric temperatures (LT and MT) since 2002, was experiencing gradually increasing noise since 2009. However, a relatively rapid increase in noise in the recent few months to September 2012 generated clearly erroneous values. Therefore, beginning September 2012, these datasets (LT and MT) switched from AQUA to the AMSU channel 5 on NOAA-15 and NOAA-18, replacing AQUA data after 2009 in version 5.5.

Troposphere

Lower Troposphere

November Lower Troposphere
November Anomaly Rank
(out of 34 years)
Record Years Decadal Trend
°C °F Year °C °F °C °F
UAH +0.28 +0.50 Coolest 32nd 1984 -0.53 -0.95 +0.16 +0.29
Warmest 3rd 2009 +0.41 +0.74
RSS +0.10 +0.18 Coolest 22nd 1984 -0.37 -0.67 +0.12 +0.21
Warmest 11th 2003 +0.26 +0.47
Ties: 2006, 1998
September-November Lower Troposphere
September–
November
Anomaly Rank
(out of 34 years)
Record Years Decadal Trend
°C °F Year °C °F °C °F
UAH +0.32 +0.58 Coolest 32nd 1984 -0.48 -0.86 +0.17 +0.31
Warmest 3rd 2009 +0.37 +0.67
RSS +0.19 +0.34 Coolest 28th 1984 -0.39 -0.70 +0.14 +0.26
Warmest 6th 1998 +0.28 +0.50
Ties: 2001
Year-to-Date Lower Troposphere
January–
November
Anomaly Rank
(out of 34 years)
Record Years Decadal Trend
°C °F Year °C °F °C °F
UAH +0.16 +0.29 Coolest 26th 1984 -0.34 -0.61 +0.14 +0.25
Warmest 9th 1998 +0.44 +0.79
RSS +0.10 +0.18 Coolest 24th 1985 -0.37 -0.67 +0.13 +0.24
Warmest 11th 1998 +0.47 +0.85

Mid-troposphere

November Mid-troposphere
November Anomaly Rank
(out of 34 years)
Record Years Decadal Trend
°C °F Year °C °F °C °F
UAH +0.12 +0.22 Coolest 28th 1984 -0.27 -0.49 +0.04 +0.07
Warmest 5th 2009 +0.24 +0.43
Ties: 2003, 2001
RSS +0.15 +0.27 Coolest 28th 1985 -0.29 -0.52 +0.06 +0.11
Warmest 7th 2009, 2002 +0.24 +0.43
UW-UAH +0.16 +0.29 Coolest 27th 1984 -0.40 -0.72 +0.12 +0.21
Warmest 8th 2009 +0.33 +0.59
UW-RSS +0.19 +0.34 Coolest 28th 1985, 1984 -0.31 -0.56 +0.12 +0.22
Warmest 7th 2009 +0.30 +0.54
September-November Mid-troposphere
September–
November
Anomaly Rank
(out of 34 years*)
Record Years Decadal Trend
°C °F Year °C °F °C °F
UAH +0.18 +0.32 Coolest 30th 1984 -0.33 -0.59 +0.08 +0.14
Warmest 5th 1998 +0.24 +0.43
RSS +0.21 +0.38 Coolest 29th 1985 -0.34 -0.61 +0.10 +0.18
Warmest 4th 1998 +0.26 +0.47
Ties: 2005, 2002
UW-UAH +0.23 +0.41 Coolest 30th 1984 -0.44 -0.79 +0.15 +0.27
Warmest 5th 1998 +0.35 +0.63
UW-RSS +0.26 +0.47 Coolest 30th 1984 -0.38 -0.68 +0.16 +0.28
Warmest 5th 1998 +0.34 +0.61
RATPAC* +0.40 +0.72 Coolest 54th 1964 -0.86 -1.55 +0.16 +0.29
Warmest 2nd 2006 +0.45 +0.81

*RATPAC rank is based on 55 years of data

Year-to-Date Mid-troposphere
January–
November
Anomaly Rank
(out of 34 years*)
Record Years Decadal Trend
°C °F Year °C °F °C °F
UAH +0.01 +0.02 Coolest 18th 1984 -0.24 -0.43 +0.05 +0.09
Warmest 16th 1998 +0.45 +0.81
Ties: 1981
RSS +0.06 +0.11 Coolest 22nd 1985 -0.29 -0.52 +0.08 +0.15
Warmest 13th 1998 +0.46 +0.83
UW-UAH +0.06 +0.11 Coolest 23rd 1984 -0.32 -0.58 +0.11 +0.19
Warmest 11th 1998 +0.55 +0.99
Ties: 1980
UW-RSS +0.12 +0.22 Coolest 24th 1985, 1984 -0.32 -0.58 +0.14 +0.25
Warmest 10th 1998 +0.54 +0.97
Ties: 2004
RATPAC* +0.19 +0.34 Coolest 47th 1965 -0.79 -1.42 +0.15 +0.27
Warmest 9th 2010 +0.51 +0.92

*RATPAC rank is based on 55 years of data

Stratosphere

November Stratosphere
November Anomaly Rank
(out of 34 years)
Record Years Decadal Trend
°C °F Year °C °F °C °F
UAH -0.35 -0.63 Coolest 12th 2000 -0.70 -1.26 -0.44 -0.79
Warmest 22nd 1982 +1.50 +2.70
Ties: 1999
RSS -0.34 -0.61 Coolest 8th 2000 -0.66 -1.19 -0.35 -0.63
Warmest 27th 1982 +1.36 +2.45
September-November Stratosphere
September–
November
Anomaly Rank
(out of 34 years)
Record Years Decadal Trend
°C °F Year °C °F °C °F
UAH -0.36 -0.65 Coolest 12th 2000 -0.65 -1.17 -0.43 -0.77
Warmest 23rd 1991 +1.52 +2.74
RSS -0.34 -0.61 Coolest 8th 2000 -0.56 -1.01 -0.33 -0.59
Warmest 26th 1991 +1.47 +2.65
Ties: 2003
Year-to-Date Stratosphere
January–
November
Anomaly Rank
(out of 34 years)
Record Years Decadal Trend
°C °F Year °C °F °C °F
UAH -0.42 -0.76 Coolest 3rd 2008 -0.48 -0.86 -0.37 -0.67
Warmest 32nd 1982 +1.01 +1.82
RSS -0.41 -0.74 Coolest 1st 2012 -0.41 -0.74 -0.30 -0.53
Warmest 34th 1992 +0.98 +1.76

Background Information

Temperatures above the Earth's surface are measured within the lower troposphere, middle troposphere, and stratosphere using in-situ balloon-borne instruments (radiosondes) and polar-orbiting satellites (NOAA's TIROS-N). The radiosonde and satellite records have been adjusted to remove time-dependent biases (artificialities caused by changes in radiosonde instruments and measurement practices as well as changes in satellite instruments and orbital features through time). Global averages from radiosonde data are available from 1958 to present, while satellite measurements date back to 1979.

The mid-troposphere temperatures are centered in the in the atmospheric layer approximately 3–10 km [2–6 miles] above the Earth's surface, which also includes a portion of the lower stratosphere. (The Microwave Sounding Unit [MSU] channel used to measure mid-tropospheric temperatures receives about 25 percent of its signal above 10 km [6 miles].) Because the stratosphere has cooled due to increasing greenhouse gases in the troposphere and losses of ozone in the stratosphere, the stratospheric contribution to the tropospheric average, as measured from satellites, creates an artificial component of cooling to the mid-troposphere temperatures. The University of Washington (UW) versions of the UAH and RSS analyses attempt to remove the stratospheric influence from the mid-troposphere measurements, and as a result the UW versions tend to have a larger warming trend than either the UAH or RSS versions. For additional information, please see NCDC's Microwave Sounding Unit page.

The radiosonde data used in this global analysis were developed using the Lanzante, Klein, Seidel (2003) ("LKS") bias-adjusted dataset and the First Difference Method (Free et al. 2004) (RATPAC). Additional details are available. Satellite data have been adjusted by the Global Hydrology and Climate Center at the University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH). An independent analysis is also performed by Remote Sensing Systems (RSS) and a third analysis has been performed by Dr. Qiang Fu of the University of Washington (UW) (Fu et al. 2004)** to remove the influence of the stratosphere on the mid-troposphere value. Global averages from radiosonde data are available from 1958 to present, while satellite measurements began in 1979.

References

Citing This Report

NOAA National Climatic Data Center, State of the Climate: Upper Air for November 2012, published online December 2012, retrieved on October 23, 2014 from http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc/upper-air/2012/11.